I’ve visitied Edinburgh once before, when I was 17 and I applied to go to the University there. I wanted to escape my parents in a dramatic way, and what was further from living down south than Scotland? I loved them but I wanted adventure and freedom. I didn’t realise that in reality I didn’t need to go as far as that. I went up for an open day to look around and fell in love with the city with it’s cobbled hilly streets, ragstone houses, the vibe being old fashioned yet buzzing with youth and traditional culture. It was my first choice, but alas I didn’t get the grades I needed to study there and ended up in Stockton-on-Tees studying Health and Human Sciences. I only stayed a year as it wasn’t what I wanted.
I still yearn to go back to Edinburgh and explore as an adult, with my family for a city break. With so many good and reasonably priced hotels in Edinburgh city centre it’s a not impossible dream. To get there I took the Edinburgh sleeper from London, which was fantastic, you get on the train and have a little cabin, settle down for the night and when you wake up, you’re there – I highly recommend it, it was convenient and exciting at the same time. Whilst I was there I visited the famous Edinburgh Castle, which is in the middle of the city and very impressive. You can stand at the top of the walls and look down on the city, it’s so romantic and full of history. If you’re there at 1pm the gun goes off, Boom!
So what else is there for families to do in Edinburgh? I did a bit of research and also asked some top family travel bloggers for their favourite spots in Edinburgh.
The National Museum of Scotland
The National Museum of Scotland is situated near the city centre and is a must see for families whilst in Edinburgh. With so many rooms with interactive displays, the children will be happy for hours. Just ask Family makes, they recommend putting this museum on your list.
If you have children with you, then Edinburgh Zoo is bound to be on your list. They have everything you need to check off: penguins, dinosaurs and even koalas. Thank you to North East Family Fun for the lovely photos. To read her full review including video, details and prices click here.
The Hop-On/Hop-Off Bus Tour
Like most cities, Edinburgh has one of those double decker buses with an audio tour to see the sights. You can buy one ticket and get on and off as much as you like. Pack the PJs went and discovered that the audio has adult and child recordings:
“I listened to the children’s one as the stories were SO INTERESTING! I learned so much from doing a whole loop on the tour bus!”
Secondly she recommends a ghost tour underground … ok, I know, a bit scary for kids … that’s why they did it! Their kids actually really liked it – out of everything they did in Edinburgh, it was the ghost tour they talk about time after time.
Harry Potter Walking Tour
If you have a little Harry Potter fan or two, then there’s an unofficial walking tour around the old town called Potter Trail, which feels like something from the books. During the summer they’re on every day and you’ll get facts from the book series and historical gems. The best bit – it’s free! You can leave a tip at the end if you like, but they don’t ask for anything. Find out more from their website here and thank you to Let’s Go Somewhere Nice for telling us about it.
On a sunny day, Jenny from Monkey and Mouse advises us to head down onto Princes gardens for a picnic and play. It has large green spaces, a play area with ramp access, a cafe, toilets and a fantastic view.
The Museum of Childhood
The Museum of Childhood is a fun day out for the whole family. Your children can learn about the children of the past and see a fantastic range of toys and games, while adults enjoy a trip down memory lane.
Young people and adults will enjoy finding out about growing up through the ages, from toys and games to health and school days. They have interactive activities, including a puppet theatre and a dressing up area.
Whatever you decide to do in Edinburgh, it’s a perfect destination for families and couples alike, so you will definitely find yourself caught up in the romanticism of it all and you will most likely come back with something tartan and a dram of Whiskey…
Have you been? I’d love to hear your stories!
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